Here's a chance to get creative. The festival is not only looking for films that take place in Tokyo, but also for films that depict memories of Tokyo, impressions of Tokyo, or even overseas locations that offer an "experience" of Tokyo.

This is a wonderful opportunity to submit to an internationally known festival and get your work shared on a massive platform!

Also, did you know the SSFF & ASIA festival is an Academy Award®-accredited event? This means the winners of the best short awards in the Official Competition supported by Sony, as well as the Non-Fiction Competition and Animation Competition, are eligible for nomination in the short film categories of the Academy Awards next year. Learn how to submit now!

In July 2021, the Academy Association announced that SSFF & ASIA would be able to submit for nomination from the Animation category for a total of five Best Short Award-winning short films, including the Official Competition supported by Sony and the Non-Fiction Competition, which will be given a chance to possibly win an Oscar next year!

If you need some examples of the great work on display at the festival, just check out our previous coverage.

The time has come for creators and filmmakers to start thinking about next year's festival. SSFF & ASIA began accepting submissions for the 24th international short film festival on Sunday, August 1, 2021.

Enter the Cinematic Tokyo Competition

As mentioned, short films in this category should focus on Tokyo as their subject matter. You do not have to show the real Tokyo or even shoot in Tokyo, and depictions can be based on your imagination or fiction. You could even create a futuristic Tokyo that looks totally different!

The selected films for this competition will be streamed online at the official festival online venue during the festival period.

The submission period is August 1, 2021, to January 31, 2022, which gives you lots of time to brainstorm and shoot your films.

If you need help with on-location shooting in Tokyo for this competition, you can contact the Tokyo Location Box.

If you need B-roll of Tokyo, footage is available on the Tokyo Stock Footage website, which can be used for this competition for free (except Zojoji Temple, Sensoji Temple, and Roppongi Hills). Please include “Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau” in the credits.

And_then_cinematic_tokyo'And Then'Credit: Courtesy of SSFF & ASIA

The rules

Here are the rules for the category.

  • Tokyo must feature in the film.
  • The film must be 25 minutes or under. No exceptions. Running time includes end credits.
  • The film must be a MOV or MP4 file, under 500MB.
  • English subtitles are required for submissions with languages other than English or Japanese.
  • Any genre of film will be accepted.
  • Works in progress will NOT be accepted.

Please complete the online submission either on the official festival website, Shortfilmdepot, or FilmFreeway.

The prizes

Selection results will be announced by the end of April 2022 on the official festival website.

The competition "Best Short Award" winner will receive 1,000,000 Japanese yen.

Jenn_ravenna_tranJenn Ravenna Tran

Check out last year's winning director

Last year's recipient of the Cinematic Tokyo Competition Best Short Award/Governor of Tokyo Award was Jenn Ravenna Tran for And Then.

"To receive this honor and recognition for our LGBTQ love story means so much," Tran said. "I am so grateful to my cast and crew for trusting me. This couldn’t have happened without them. I’m also grateful to the City of Tokyo and its businesses for allowing us to make this movie. It’s a beautiful city and I’m thankful that it was the backdrop for And Then."

Tran said making the film was a cathartic process.

"To be able to make a film about art, isolation, feeling out of place when you look like you belong, finding connection, and hopeful queer love in a slice-of-life genre, and have it be recognized by SSFF and one of the most iconic cities in the world is just… really incredible," Tran said. "I never expected this to happen but I’m so grateful. Thank you so much for supporting our film."

For more information, please see the official festival website.

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia was founded in 1999 as the Short Shorts Film Festival (SSFF). In 2004, SSFF added a program for Asian short films and established Short Shorts Film Festival Asia with the support of the Governor of Tokyo. Now, the combination of the two festivals takes place annually in Tokyo as Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, one of the largest short film festivals in Asia.